Monday, 22 March 2010

Completely Bananas

Yet another reason my symptoms have increased greatly since leaving the Canary Islands, famous for their amazing bananas, especially when I've lived on a working banana plantation (not to be recommended because of the chemical sprays and the flies) and been able to buy or have been given huge bunches straight from the plantation ...

Bananas in the UK, imported from wherever, just aren't the same product. They're comparatively bland and tasteless and, naturally, had to come a long way, so are most often past their best once you get them, or very soon go brown and manky after getting them home.

I miss Canarian bananas! I also miss the fact that they were so cheap (or free) that I didn't need to ration them and always had ample for snacks, deserts or healthy doggy treats.

Although I have to say that it really wasn't a good idea to battle to eat all of the bananas to not waste any of them in that mega-bunch above. With only the dog to help me, after a few days, we were both pretty solidly clogged up with excess banana induced constipation.

Ironically, bananas can be helpful to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) sufferers with either constipation or diarrhoea. Unfortunately, I suffer the former, so I guess it's an advantage that most of the bananas I eat in the UK are on the brown side of ripe. However, I don't really like the flavour of bananas much beyond green - the ones most likely to make my situation worse - which is how I'd get most of them in Tenerife. Yet there, they caused me no problem at all (unless I seriously ate too many of them, which did only happen that one time.) It makes no sense.

Anyway, sticking to the recommended daily intake of one or two can certainly be helpful for a lot of reasons and conditions and their contribution of potassium is well documented.
But potassium's not the only important thing inside a banana peel -- this fruit also contains magnesium and malic acid, which many doctors recommend for our muscle pain and tenderness.  They also help your body produce energy. - Bananas for Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
Another reason bananas might be helpful in ME/CFS is because:
A banana contains Vitamin B6, which helps in the synthesis of antibodies in the immune system apart from red blood formation, protein metabolism and functioning of the central nervous system. - Banana Nutrition Facts.
In more potentially contradictory banana properties, Adrienne says, "If you complain about nighttime leg cramps, your doctor will probably tell you to eat a banana before bed." I avoid eating anything at all late at night and would hope that consumption during the course of the day would be sufficient to have the beneficial effects. Elsewhere, it is suggested that, "Women shouldn't consume banana late at night, because this might cause temporary constipation."

So, if you do eat a banana as a bedtime snack, better make sure it is a properly ripe one.

"On a traffic light, green means go and yellow means yield, but on a banana, it's just the opposite. Green means hold on, yellow means go ahead, and red means where the hell did you get that banana ..." - Mitch Hedberg (via Bananas and Constipation)

Yes, I had a red banana!

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